Democrats should start the process of amending the Constitution

I would have said that the poll tax amendment was the last amendment of significant consequence, but I hadn’t heard it was controversial.

It used to be that Democrats were less likely to vote because so many were low income people juggling jobs. They didn’t have the luxury an affluent Republican had to easily arrange their schedule to vote.

It’s still true that Democrats have lower average income, but now it is more because they are younger. Democrats have higher education level than Republicans today and are a bit more likely to have good flexible jobs.

Yes there are still Democrats who have a hard time getting to the polls, or getting an ID, but I think the GOP now has at least as many potential voters like that. Admittedly it is hard to get good numbers on this.

While it’s true that Trump would have lost that particular race, Trump got to the general election because the Republican party doesn’t have a system like superdelegates, like the Democrats do.

Setting up a system that’s purely based on the popular vote is advantageous to populist leaders and you would just start having even more of them - including on the Democratic side.

The electoral college was added to the Constitution specifically for the purpose of reducing the ability of people like Trump from getting into office. State laws that turn it into a party hack, bound to the party vote are what have broken that system and allowed it to produce trash like Donald Trump. As originally intended, the electors would have been a group of respected locals required to do their homework on the candidates, to produce a wiser and less politicized result for the most important role in the country.

If you’re not happy with what has happened as we have taken that system apart, going further in dismantling it is not going to produce an even better result.

Most of the OP amendments are too specific to get passed, most likely.

It’s probably better to target the bigger concepts like:

  • No new law shall be passed to protect the sensibilities of others.
  • Voting districts must not be decided to benefit any candidate, party, or belief.

I agree with the spirit of your reply. It’s on the tactics that we may possibly disagree. With regard to Stacey Abrams, I agree. She seems like the closest Democrats have to a true political genius, IMHO surpassing even Bill Clinton, and that’s all in spite of her loss in 2018. If we do manage to hold the line, as you put it, Biden should retire after his term and endorse her in 2024. As you say, Democrats need to clean house, and Abrams should be at the head of the new leadership once they do.

Where I disagree is in the particular tactics that are needed to hold the line. Taking Beto as an example, I’m not nearly as impressed with his tactical abilities as compared to Abrams. Same for most of the other endangered Democrats in purple states / districts. I’m going to vote for him, but I know he has no chance. There needs to be a national strategy, not just a let each candidate make it up as they go along strategy, because Democratic candidates tend to get it wrong in close races.

ETA. Focusing on amending the constitution may not be the best specific strategy, just like running it up the middle on 4th and goal from the 1 might not be the best play call when down by 4 with only a few minutes left in the game. But it’s better than kicking a field goal. Unfortunately Democrats tend to be the type to go for a field goal.

We can debate all day about which play is the best one to use to go for it, but we do need to go for it, not play it safe. No messing around with debates about the details of some fine point of tax policy or spending on the budget. Take it to the Republicans on social issues by calling them out for what they are. Fascists who want to take away our rights. Whether the best approach is a constitutional amendment, legislation, packing the court, impeaching the current fascist justices, or something else is the best play is a question I can’t answer. But those are the types of debates Democrats need to be having. Not whether or not we need to release x or y amount of barrels of oil from the strategic reserve to stabilize gas prices and nonsense like that.

The literal answer is that the U.S. constitution, in Article V, forbids any constitutonal amendment changing that:

If the U.S. made a big shift leftward, I guess you could pass an amendment keeping Senate composition as is whle giving some its powers, like confirming judges, to the House. But with the current Supreme Court lineup,any amendment reducing Senate power might being seen as an Article V violation.

Remember that the Constitution means what the Supreme Court says it means.

Trump has actually addressed that point. He said that his campaign focussed on winning the winnable and close states, because that would put him over the line. If it had been a popular vote, he would have used a different strategy to get more votes generally. Whether that would have worked is of course debatable, but the basic point is that Trump’s campaign was based on the current electoral college system. Change the system, and campaigns will adapt to the new system.

…here’s the thing, though.

You’ve run out of time.

I’m being deadly serious.

If you don’t go with Beto: then who do you go with? He’s established, he has infrastructure surrounding him, he’s passionate, he’s ready to go.

You’ve got six months till midterms. If you don’t hold the line, then you’re screwed. You don’t have time to dither. I’m no big fan of Beto either. But there is SO much to overcome right now. Go with Beto. Or go with someone else. I don’t care. Just don’t spend too much time figuring it out.

Of course, you need a national strategy.

But the current leadership are not up to the task. They have no strategy to deal with abortion. No strategy to deal with CRT and the attack on schools. They have no strategy to deal with rampant disinformation. They have no strategy to protect transgender people. They have no strategy to deal with police corruption. They have no strategy to deal with student loans. They have no strategy to deal with a corrupt, partisan activist supreme court. They have no strategy on how to deal with obstructionists within their own party. They have a bad strategy in place to deal with a pandemic that has killed over a million Americans.

There is no conceivable way that this leadership develops a winning national strategy by the mid-terms. It isn’t going to happen. They are completely out-of-their depth. The time for them to step up was a year ago.

You aren’t running out of time. Time is already up. The administration isn’t going to save you.

And it isn’t about “local candidates making it up.” It doesn’t even need to be a candidate for something. Abrams wasn’t a candidate for Georgia last election. They need leadership (not necessarily a candidate), they need a dynamic, actionable, local strategy that can adapt rapidly to whatever the Republicans throw at them. Think Agile, not Waterfall. Also think winning school boards, judges, sheriffs, councils, and other local elected officials.

I keep thinking about this, and it makes me wonder: is having people who are with the party but refuse to support any significant pushes actually helpful? Sure, in the short term, having Manchin and Sinema is helpful. But in the long term? I wonder if it doesn’t do more harm than good. It demoralizes people. It makes people not want to bother - even with the Democrats in power, they still aren’t actually doing anything. Because the party has a combination of dead weight and traitors dragging it down and preventing it from doing anything.

Could it potentially be better to…not admit these people to the party? To publicly expel them, because they refuse to cooperate, refuse to actually do what the party is trying to accomplish? It would absolutely be a short term loss, since those spurned members would probably cozy right up with the Republicans. But might it be a long-term gain because it would make people actually enthusiastic about voting, because you’d know that the party would actually work together to get things done? That if the party declares that their goal is to pass X, and they have a majority, X will pass? That’s kind of what the Republicans have been doing, and frankly, it seems to work. Their voters actually get out there and vote because their politicians seem to actually be doing things to accomplish their goals.

Given his post right above yours, I’m not sure the person you were responding to thinks that a “short term” loss is survivable. If so, I’d say that changes that equation drastically.

In 50 years, IMHO, historians will regard our politicians as Pre-trump and Post-Trump politicians the same way they refer to battleships as pre-dreadnought and dreadnought. All of the democratic leadership has a pre-trump way of handling politics. They aren’t fighting the battle as its currently being waged, and frankly don’t even seem to understand how badly they are losing.

I don’t really think it’s even just since Trump. They’ve seemed incapable of dealing with Republican strategies for…what, almost 15 years now, if not longer. At least as far back as Mitch McConnell being minority leader; they have been utterly unable to adapt to deal with even that much. They’ve been WW1 generals ordering charge after charge into machine gun fire and failing to understand why the enemy won’t line up in a nice napoleonic square to fight them.

I’d say as far back as 1994 and Newt Gingrich. I don’t get why Abrams hasn’t been put in charge of forming a national strategy. She seems to be the best hope we have.

I don’t necessarily agree. Anything that McConnell did in 2008, you could move it 10 or 20 years into the past and it wouldn’t have been too out of the ordinary. What has McConnell done that Newt Gringrich wouldn’t have done?

Move just about any week from the Trump presidency 20 years into the past, and it would have seemed as out of place as if alien had landed.

This is sort of like asking if you put Taylor Swift and Eminem into an insane asylum of several dozen people and tell the whole group to try and legislate the future of our country, whether it’s more helpful or less helpful if the inmates view Taylor and Em as part of their team or as a foreign team.

I’d vote that the particular question is not the burning question compared to all the other questions that you could ask about this setup.

If you drum Manchin and Sinema out of the party, the Democrats lose their majority in the Senate. That means they lose all the committee chairmanships (not just the committees that those two Senators are on.) Biden doesn’t have to worry about satisfying Manchin’s demands about infrastructure, because any infrastructure bill will have already been killed in committee.

Not to mention that Manchin is the only Democrat to hold a statewide office in West Virginia, and Sinema piled up 79% of the vote in the Democratic primary but just managed to squeak by Martha McSally in the general election by 56,000 votes

Convince me throwing them out of the party is better.

It’s always better to be ideologically pure and out of power. :grinning:

Manchin voted for the Affordable Care Act, which cut our uninsured population in half.I consider that extremely helpful.

He also voted twice to convict Trump at impeachment trials.To me, that was no help at all, but I mention because other Democrats admire such doomed efforts.

Arizona is a lot friendlier to moderately left of center Democrats than West Virginia, so complaining about Sinema makes more sense than complaining about Manchin. I’d consider voting against Sinema in a primary, if I was Arizonan. But I’m moderate enough that it would depend on her opponent.

Yeah Manchin is as good as the Democrats can possibly get in WV, so as long as he votes to keep Mitch from being Majority Leader than anything else we can get out of him is icing on the cake.

Sinema on the other hand is not as good as can be had in Arizona. I hope that a quality genuine Democrat beats her in a primary next time her seat opens. But if she wins the primary, I hope she wins the general.

I think that you are taking a definition of the word and milling it for far more than it’s worth here.

Their apathy is not a mental or physical condition, they are apathetic because the Democrats have done nothing to make them not so.

As you go on to say…

The problem is that the Republicans are running on lies and hate. The only way to combat lies and hate is with lies and hate of your own.

If that’s the path the Democrats go down, they may win, but our country loses.

Nah, they aren’t smarter, they are just more ruthless. If you are in a boxing match, and your opponent starts punching you below the belt, you first look to the referee to get him to make your opponent stop. When you realize there is no ref, what do you do now? Do you return the low blows, inviting accusations of hypocrisy? If you do, are you really any better than your opponent at this point?

Unless you pass an amendment amending that part of the constitution first.

Obviously not going to happen, but in the world where an amendment reducing the power of states to reflect their populations wouldn’t be ratified by the states that stand to lose power anyway.